I don’t dress up for Halloween. Why? Because I never get invited to do cool things but I like the idea of dressing up. And I think lots of other people do too. I mean, just look at the selection of costumes for adults out there.
This year I will be using perfume as a costume In this fragrance guide, I’m pairing perfumes with popular Halloween costumes for men and women. Get fully in character with these scents –
Mini rant – I find so many of the store bought costumes to be borderline offensive to full-blown offensive (“tequila dude”, nerds, pimps). Many of the funny ones just come across as misogynistic and crude to me. When I decided to “scent” popular costumes, I went to the online Halloween boutiques to check out best-sellers. So many of the costumes left me with that “really?” reaction and did not include those in my fragrance guide. I did notice some common repeats and trends. I’ve included those in my list for my first ever “Perfume Picks for Your Halloween Costume”.
This is a classic costume for a reason. It mixes spooky with glam. And this makes it very desirable to dress up as. Hollywood and TV vampires are hot.
- Dior Hypnotic Poison EDP – I love this almond floriental. Plus, you can look at the bottle as a poison apple or as a heart ripped out of its chest. It’s rather vampy, isn’t it? Retails for $75 at Sephora.
- Majda Bekkali Mon Nom Est Rouge EDP – This is a metallic spiced rose with tons of acrid incense. Think of it as a “tomb rose”. Retails for $125 at Luckyscent.
- Villainess Blood Perfume Oil – This is a berry wine poached fig fragrance with a rather morbid name. Here’s my review of the soap (which I also recommend). Perfume oil retails for $16 at Villainess.
This one has always hit me as very popular because it’s so cheap and easy. And that’s a good thing in this case! Wear black or leopard print that you already own. Take a black eyeliner pencil and draw on whiskers. Buy some cheap ears or make your own with a headband. Done.
- Calvin Klein Obsession EDP – They say that zoo felines love this stuff (well, the men’s version) so I had to pair it with this costume. Plus, it’s high in civet so it’s very feline. Retails for $78 at Sephora.
- Lancome Magie Noire EDT – This has always been a black cat fragrance to me. It’s dark fragrance with lots of patchouli. Full review. Retails for $63 at Lancome.
- Dior La Collection Privé Mitzah EDP – This is a warm amber that is furry but this is also a suggestion because muse Mitzah was a major fan of leopard print. Full review. Retails for $250 at Dior.
This one always remains popular. My theory is that all ladies want to wear fringe but can’t find a reason to. And The Great Gatsby was this remade this year and we’re all still recovering from the Roaring 20’s bug.
- Sonoma Scent Studio Champagne de Bois EDP – This is a fizzy champagne over a rich sandalwood. It declares that you celebrate. Full review. Retails for $65 at Sonoma Scent Studio.
- Caron Bellodgia Parfum – Here’s a spicy carnation from the 1920’s. I say spend all of your money on the perfume part of your costume Full review. Retails for $180 at Luckyscent.
- Etat Libre d’Orange Jasmin et Cigarette EDP – It’s indolic jasmine and blonde tabocco. It’s such a flapper in a speakeasy fragrance. Full review. Retails for $80 at C.O. Bigelow.
A classic. The good, the bad and the ugly. A witch can be whatever you want it to be. They’re spooky and you can decide if you want to be frightening, glamorous or both. And once again, it’s a rather easy costume to throw together last minute.
- Roxana Illuminated Perfumes Figure 1 Noir Natural Perfume (not pictured)- This is one of the witchiest perfumes that I’ve sampled in a very long time. It’s a dark, deep patchouli that has earned its “Noir” title. It’s for glamour witches, spooky witches…all of the witches. Full review. Retails for $102 at Roxana Illuminated Perfume.
- Mugler Angel EDP – I’ve always felt like a glamorous witch (like in Snow White) would wear this patchouli-chocolate perfume. It’s sort of shape shifting and since it has patchouli, it’s rather polarizing (I’m saying that some find it entrancing and others find it scary). Retails for $79 at Sephora.
- TokyoMilk Dead Sexy EDP – This is my favorite from the expansive Tokyomilk line. It’s a woody, dry vanilla. Plus, the packaging reminds me of a poison. Full review. Retails for $30 at Beauty.com.
1980’s Pop Star (like Madonna)
Here’s a fun one. Adults remember Madonna in her hey-day. We want to dress up in fingerless lace gloves and cross necklaces. Few of us outgrew this phase and fewer of us will admit it. So, we will seize any moment that we can to dress up like an 80’s pop star.
- Etat Libre d’Orange Encens et Bubblegum EDP – This perfume is actually inspired by Madonna. It’s a fun blend of raspberry bubblegum and sacred incense. It’s sort of great. I know it sounds crazy but it’s good. Retails for $80 at Luckyscent.
- A Beautiful Life I Heart Unicorns EDP – This fragrance actually reminds me of an entire bag of Halloween candy. It’s a puberty-fruity-floral. Wear it while dressed as an icon of your youth. Retails for $52 at A Beautiful Life.
- Reminiscence Patchouli EDT – I guess it depends on how technicolor you want your costume to be but don’t forget the black lace and religious imagery. The 1989 album “Like a Prayer” was patchouli scented. This is a classic patchouli amber that goes well with excessive amounts of jewelry. Retails for $70 at Beautyhabit.
- Esscentual Alchemy Hokkabaz Natural Perfume (not pictured) – This perfume reminds me of spooky, musty catacombs. It’s a dark, spicy animalic fragrance with civet and leather. It’s more for the Nosferatu vampire types. Full review. Retails for $97 at Esscentual Alchemy.
- The Vagabond Prince Enchanted Forest EDP – This is mainly a blackcurrant “soliflore” but it does have complimentary notes of incense and red wine. And the name is so vampire-y. It’s like the vampire hunk in some romance novel that lives in a castle surrounded by old growth forests. Full review. Retails for $180 at Luckyscent.
- By Kilian Rose Oud EDP – It’s a jammy rose with oud. It’s trying to bite your neck and you’re going to let it. Full review. Retails for $395 at Luckyscent.
I was really surprised to see how many variations one can get of this from a costume store. You can buy every sort of pirate imaginable. Skeleton pirates. Johnny Depp-ish pirates. Even these like party-hard pirates. All of the pirates.
- The Different Company Sel de Vetiver EDT – This is a vetiver at sea. Salty, vetiver goodness. Retails for $150 at Beautyhabit.
- Ayala Moriel Orcas Natural EDP – It’s a complex aquatic that brings to mind cool seas. Full review. Retails for $120 at Ayala Moriel Parfums.
- L’Artisan Parfumeur Batucada EDT – OK, this is like a rum drinking party pirate (which I guess is a Halloween costume thing). It’s a lime coconut with aquatic air. Full review. Retails for $100 at Beautyhabit.
Frankenstein (OK, Frankenstein’s monster)
I love that after all of these years that people are still dressing up like Frankenstein…OK, Frankenstein’s monster. Classic horror at its best.
- Comme de Garcons Odeur 53 EDT – With accords like “burnt rubber”, “flash of metal” and “fire energy”, it sounds like it was copied from the screenplay of Frankenstein. This is an odd industrial fragrance. It really is Hollywood’s version of Frankenstein sort of scent. Retails for $130 at Beautyhabit.
- Juniper Ridge Caruthers Canyon Backpacker’s Cologne – I really don’t know why I paired this one to Frankenstein. These are rugged anti-perfume fragrances created by hikers, not perfumers, made from wildcrafted aromas. And you know what? They smell great. I think they’re rugged quality fits with a Frankenstein costume. Retails for $100 at Beautyhabit.
- Andrea Maack Craft EDP – It’s a freezing cold incense with a metallic edge. It’s like Frankenstein’s lab. Retails for $135 at Luckyscent.
With my online research, it appears that guys like to look like they are rotting. Actually, lots of people like to look like they are rotting.
- Demeter Zombie for Him Cologne – OK, I haven’t actually smelled this one but perfume pals have told me it smells like wet dirt and earth. I believe that Demeter can pull of the entire “wet ground” thing. Plus, the name fits. It had to be included here. Retails for $20 at Demeter.
- Opus Oils Voodoo Natural EDP – This is a spicy vetiver that seriously brings to mind b-films for me. Here’s my review. Retails for $75 at Opus Oils.
- Rebel & Mercury Parloir Natural Parfum – This is a like if a dapper gent was zombified (and from my research, I’ve noticed that Zombie Grooms are very popular). It’s a spicy patchouli fragrance with a meaty, earthy mushroom note. Retails for $65 at Rebel & Mercury.
Big Hair Rock Star
I was surprised to see as many of these costumes as I did. I think it’s like the “1980’s Pop Star” one. We want to relive who 13 year old us wanted to be when we grew up. Plus, they’re fun and it doesn’t involve applying grotesque makeup.
- Phoenicia Gone But Not EDP – This perfume is actually inspired by big hair and forgotten rock stars. It’s my personal favorite from the Phoenicia line. It’s hair spray and vintage musk. Retails for $85 at Phoenicia.
- Guy Laroche Drakkar Noir EDT – This is on the list because it’s so iconic. So big. It’s rather soapy and rather cliché but so is your costume. Wear what you wore while you listened to big hair albums. Retails for under $20 at Fragrancenet.
- Coty Exclamation Cologne – If you want to smell like you’ve been chased by a hoard of 18 year old girls circa 1989, let me suggest you spray yourself down with Exclamation. It says it all without saying a word. It works with your costume. Give the impression that your even bigger than your hair. Retails for like $10 at Fragrancenet.
If you’re dressing up for Halloween, who/what are you dressing up as? What perfume will you wear to complete the costume?